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The Walter White Project

Randy Stakeman, Jackson Stakeman, Authors
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Aftermath of Dyer Bill's failure

From its inception the NAACP had been involved in fighting legal cases as a way of advancing African American rights. With the failure of the Dyer Anti-lynching Bill the Association saw the futility of working through the legislative branch of government particularly when blacks were disenfranchised in the south.  The south would be able to fill the Congress with those whose very futures depended upon keeping blacks in their "place" at the bottom of the southern hierarchy of power. The NAACP therefore turned to the judicial branch of the national government and began to focus on legal cases for the decade following the defeat of the Dyer Bill. The Association had formed a Legal Bureau in 1913 but this had been superseded by a Legal Committee by the 1920's. By then the Association was receiving so many requests for legal aid, Walter White had to clarify to the branches that the national office was only interested in cases that involved racial discrimination and had the potential for establishing a precedent that would affect the legal rights of black people.  They ended up concentrating on cases involving criminal justice, voting, housing and education.

The legal campaign linked the expertise of the national office to the efforts of the branches and local communities to fight discrimination

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